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Capt. Balian’s Navy Career

I am outraged. A much decorated Navy hero, Capt. Balian, was court-martialed and convicted of dereliction of duty for using his best judgment during a confrontation with Vietnamese boat people in the South China Sea.

Twenty-six years in the Navy, qualified for promotion to rear admiral, he is being railroaded, because of so-called bad publicity to the Navy.

The boat people put themselves in jeopardy by poor planning and irresponsible leadership. Balian, under orders to proceed to a “war zone,” gave them food and assistance according to the information provided to him by his crew.

His first duty was to his country, his crew and to his ship. He did not fail them.

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Will the Navy now order all ship captains to take aboard all refugee boat people, in distress or not, and transport them directly to the United States for absorption into the welfare system?

Balian should be promoted, given another ship and get an apology from the Navy.

BEN CALLISON

San Marcos

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